Arts & Culture


Lee Friedlander/Fraenkel Gallery

Lee Friedlander/Fraenkel Gallery

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Lee Friedlander's first published book of photographs was called Self Portrait (1970). But he wasn't the subject of any of the pictures inside. Instead, as Joshua Chuang '05MBA, photography curator at the Yale University Art Gallery, puts it, the book was filled with images "in which the photographer wittily framed himself—sometimes via shadow or reflection—within otherwise ordinary scenes."

Nearly 30 years later, Friedlander, by then a nationally recognized artist, revisited the self-portrait. This photograph, shot in California in 1997, is one of more than 2,000 master prints Yale recently bought from the artist, along with a comprehensive archive of his film, contact sheets, darkroom drafts, and monographs. This trove of photographic material is now at the Art Gallery and the Beinecke Library. Most of it was produced after 1990—a particularly rich period for Friedlander, says Chuang, in which he "very cleverly circled back to a lot of his earliest motifs."   

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